Cherry: Health benefits, nutrients & uses

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Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Cherries are a type of small, round fruit that are not only delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits. They are native to Europe and Asia but are now widely cultivated across the world. Cherries come in two varieties: sweet and tart, with each having its distinct flavour and uses. These fruits are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals and have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved sleep quality, reduced inflammation, and protection against certain diseases. Whether eaten fresh, canned, or dried, cherries are a versatile and tasty addition to any diet.

Cherries may not be a fruit that immediately comes to mind when thinking of India, but they are becoming increasingly popular in the country. While cherries are not widely grown in India, they are imported from countries such as the United States and Chile, and can be found in many supermarkets and specialty food stores. These small, red fruits are known for their sweet and tart taste and are packed with beneficial nutrients. Cherries are a great addition to any diet, and their growing popularity in India means that they are now more readily available to those looking to add a healthy and delicious fruit to their meals.

This article provides comprehensive information about cherries and answers common questions about their impact on health and more.

Health benefits of cherry

May have antioxidant effects

Out of 29 published human studies, 10 investigated the effects of cherries on oxidative stress. Eight studies found that cherry consumption decreased oxidative stress, while two studies found no change. Cherry consumption increased markers of antioxidant capacity such as plasma ORAC, FRAP, and serum TAS, while decreasing markers of oxidative stress like plasma F2-isoprostane and LOOH. Both sweet and tart cherries showed antioxidant effects in human studies, and animal and cell culture studies also found that cherry extracts increased antioxidant enzyme activity and decreased lipid peroxidation. Overall, cherries appear to be effective in reducing oxidative stress.

May boosts exercise recovery

Studies suggest that cherries contain compounds that may help reduce exercise-induced muscle pain, damage, and inflammation due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Tart cherry products, including juice and concentrate, may be more effective than sweet cherries and may accelerate muscle recovery, decrease exercise-induced muscle pain, and prevent strength loss in athletes. Some studies also suggest that cherry products may enhance exercise performance. While most studies involve trained athletes, tart cherry juice may also benefit non-athletes. 

May help manage high blood sugar levels 

Studies on healthy participants found that supplementation with cherries or cherry products did not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. However, in diabetic women, concentrated tart cherry juice decreased haemoglobin A1C and fasting blood glucose levels. Animal and cell culture studies suggest that cherry extracts and anthocyanins may have potential in regulating blood glucose levels by decreasing glucose production, increasing insulin production, and promoting glucose uptake by the liver. These findings suggest that cherry consumption may have a positive impact on glucose regulation.

May help lowers high cholesterol levels 

Studies have shown that consuming sweet cherries or tart cherry concentrate does not significantly affect blood lipid concentrations in healthy adults, including triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and the number and size of lipoprotein particles. However, one study conducted on overweight and obese subjects with elevated blood lipids showed a decrease in VLDL and TG/HDL ratio after consuming tart cherry juice for 4 weeks. The different results between studies may be due to the participants’ initial lipid profiles. Animal studies have also shown that cherry extracts and purified anthocyanins can decrease liver triglycerides and cholesterol and prevent the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease induced by a high-fat diet.

May improve cognitive functions

Consuming both sweet and tart cherries can improve both the quality and quantity of sleep, with effects being observed within a few days. Sweet cherries may decrease cortisol and anxiety and improve mood, but these effects were not tested with tart cherries. Nonetheless, other studies have suggested that consuming foods with anthocyanins can improve cognitive function. In terms of exercise, the effects of cherry consumption on cortisol levels vary depending on the type of exercise, and cherry supplementation may also affect markers of oxidative stress and inflammation. Animal and cell culture studies have suggested that cherries may also improve cognitive function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease, but further research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.

May improve sleep quality

Eating cherries or drinking tart cherry juice may improve the quality of your sleep found in the fruit, as well as the presence of melatonin which helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Studies have shown that consuming concentrated cherry products can lead to significant increases in melatonin levels, sleep duration, and sleep quality

Conclusion

Cherries are a nutritious and delicious fruit that offer a wide range of health benefits. Whether you prefer sweet or tart cherries, these fruits are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals that can help boost your overall health and wellbeing. From improving sleep quality to reducing inflammation and protecting against certain diseases, cherries are a versatile and tasty addition to any diet. While they may not be grown widely in all parts of the world, the availability of cherries in supermarkets and specialty food stores makes it easy for people to incorporate them into their meals. So next time you’re looking for a healthy and tasty snack, consider reaching for a handful of cherries to enjoy their numerous benefits.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Garima Dev Verman
Garima Dev Verman
A qualified and experienced dietitian, Garima is analyses and fact checks content around diet and nutrition.
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